NI Water (NIW) is a government-owned company established in 2007 to provide water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. It works with an array of organisations and agencies on projects to improve the quality of life for others.
Recently ranked fourth in Northern Ireland’s top 100 employers, NIW’s highly skilled workforce supplies 560 million litres of clean water each day for 1.8 million people and treats 320 million litres of wastewater. Every aspect of life in NI is reliant on NIW’s services. By supplying clean water and safely managing wastewater, NIW safeguards people’s health, underpins economic growth and protects our environment.
What NI Water did
NIW’s unquestionable commitment to wellbeing at work is evidenced through its laser focus on employee health and wellbeing. It provides an unparalleled menu of innovative health and wellbeing initiatives championed by the CEO and SMT, borne out of extensive and meaningful consultation with employees to fully understand and serve their needs. These range from numerous physical and mental health programmes and social interventions.
NIW encourages all employees to participate in a wide range of community volunteering activities. The highly positive outcomes from participation helps to foster a sense of pride, happiness and wellbeing in the employee community. Activities range from the UU Step Up Charity and Cares Challenges, to supporting its nominated charity WaterAid which saves the lives of thousands of people in Africa and Asia by creating sustainable sanitation and water supplies.
Qualitative feedback from its annual ‘Have Your Say’ employee engagement survey demonstrates a high level of correlation between engagement scores and employee delight with the comprehensive range of initiatives designed to enhance their wellbeing. Inspire Employee Assistance Programme provided dedicated expert welfare and counselling services onsite and 24/7.
An extensive range of training courses were delivered to staff, including Managing Mental Health in the Workplace, Building Emotional Resilience, Dealing with Difficult Situations, and Mindfulness. These aimed to promote mental wellbeing, reduce the stigma of mental health problems and provide practical assistance on reducing stress.
Impacts and Outcomes
- Attendance rate in 2016/’17 was 96.3%; an improvement of 0.3% on 2015/16
- 69% of staff had no recorded sickness absence in 2016/’17
- Drop from 25% in 2015 to currently 18% total days lost due to stress
- Attrition rates is 4% which is significantly below the public sector average of 15.5%
- Average annual sick days per employees – 7.2 days 16/’17 compared with 12.5 days in 16/17 in NICS
- 143 employees availed of the Free-Will writing service in 2017
- 289 employees availed of the Flu vaccine 17/18
- 338 employees enrolled and attended Inspire mental health courses in 2017
- 100% return to work rate after maternity in last five years
- Engagement scores have risen by 21% since 2013
- 87% uptake rate of some form of flexible working